STERLING-US dollar has been well-supported of late on fears that Prudential’s planned purchase of AIA could collapse. A large currency hedge shorting cable was put in place some months ago when the deal was first agreed and if it falls over, the hedge will come off, sending sterling-US dollar higher. While highly speculative, traders should bear the deal in mind. Spread Co offer a spread on sterling-US dollar of $1.4473-$1.4476.

National Grid’s share price has only gone down since it announced its rights issue last week. However, like most utilities, the shares offer a fairly good dividend, and in times of market volatility has been viewed as quite a good defensive stock. The shares are not far from two-year lows at 473.50p and could bounce higher from here. CMC Markets’ spread for National Grid is 492.6p-492.7p.

The threat of a double dip recession has hardly been kind to easyJet, although the airline is still outperforming the FTSE 250 this year. Having picked up traffic as a result of the British Airways strike, any suggestions of a resolution to the BA problem could weigh on the easyJet share price. The stock has already lost over 20 per cent since peaking in April. Weaker oil prices may again offer some respite but this seems unlikely to be long-lived. The current IG Index price is 403.8p-406.2p.

The housing sector is in focus this week as economic and corporate data in the US and the UK are released. On Wednesday, updated mortgage approvals in the UK will be followed by mortgage applications and pending home sales data across the pond. Barratt Developments is due to give an update to analysts this week and is expected to be positive about future prospects, largely on the back of an increase in house prices this year. Spread betters have been buying the stock, confident it can improve on last week’s lows of 102.3p, despite fears that the sector could face further pressure from the new coalition government’s planning policies. Spreadex has a June-based contract with a spread of 109.1p–110.3p.